A few months ago I listed four things to consider if you wanted to become an author. My post was rather pessimistic but it was downright sunny compared to this passage from a recent article by Jeffrey Tayler:
Aspiring writers and journalists eager to quit their day jobs and freelance for a living often approach me and ask for my advice on how to get started. Most understand how tough it is to place a story in a national magazine or publish a book in the United States. You might have an idea of the figures already, but let me give you examples from the magazine for which I’m a correspondent, The Atlantic. The Atlantic receives, per year, 60,000 unsolicited non-fiction manuscripts and queries, 12,000 short stories, and 75,000 poems. Only a fraction of these ever end up published, of course. The ratio of submissions to publications, as I understand it, isn’t much better for book publishers. The point is, it’s tough to break into the business, and quite natural that one seeks an easy way in.
If that doesn’t scare you off becoming a writer—and if it doesn’t then something is probably wrong with you—then you’ll want to read the rest of Tayler’s article, which offers useful advice, particularly for those who want to write fiction.
(Via: Justin Taylor)